“Ding-dong!” the doorbell jangled cheerily from our back door.
I glanced at Zack. “You expecting anybody?”
He looked back at me. “Nope. You?”
So I trudged to the door in my flamingo pajama pants and T-shirt, where I found a friend balancing an entire flat of tiny, bright-red strawberries on her hip. They were the result of a fundraiser she’d posted about on social media weeks before.
I had responded on her post that I wanted a flat. Then, true to form, I promptly forgot about it and never paid for them.
But there she was with the most beautiful berries I’d ever seen. I wrote her a check, thanked her, and began rearranging my refrigerator to accommodate eleventy bajillion berries.
I didn’t have to make space for long, though, because it turns out these berries were the most delicious berries of all berries.
Julia explains it this way: “I keep forgetting how good these are … then I bite into one and remember.”
When I first saw the flat, I just knew I had to make this recipe for strawberry cream pie. Once I discovered how much we all loved them, though — and my daughters began eating them plain for breakfasts and lunches — I realized pie might be a waste for these particular berries.
However, I am definitely making this for Easter lunch and probably a few more times this season, while strawberries are so inexpensive and delicious.
It’s a great make-ahead dessert, except that you’ll want to wait and place the strawberries on top close to the time you serve it. If you do it the day before, the berries will probably begin to seep juices onto the top of the pie. It will still taste delicious, but it might look … bloody. And pie that looks bloody is nobody’s idea of a good time. (Well, it may be some people’s idea of a good time. But those people are not my people.)
Anyway, if pie-making sounds like too much work, if you need something gluten free, or if you just want to cut down a bit on the carbs and calories, the pie filling also makes a delicious fruit dip. Just mix up the filling and serve with plenty of berries on the side.
Amelia Plair is a mom and high school teacher in Starkville. Email reaches her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM PIE
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 8-ounce package cream cheese or Neufchatel, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup light brown sugar (or equivalent amount brown sugar Splenda; this recipe accommodates sugar substitutes very well)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
(Source: Adapted from ourbestbites.com)